Is POTS a disability?
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a medical condition that affects circulation of the blood. Symptoms can be highly variable and show up intermittently over time. This ailment can be complex and difficult to diagnose, often mimicking the symptoms of more common conditions, such as sarcoidosis or other diseases with similar characteristics. People with this disease often go through multiple rounds of expensive and inconvenient testing before finally arriving at a proper POTS diagnosis.
POTS patients range from 13 to 50 years old. It is more common in women compared to men, affecting over 450,000 people in the United States. There are several medications and medical interventions available to treat POTS, such as fludrocortisone, salt tablets, midodrine, as well as a controlled diet and exercise program. If improperly diagnosed and treated, POTS can contribute to disability at an early age. The legal professionals of Berke Law Firm, P.A. have extensive experience with helping clients file for disability benefits for POTS.
Our attorneys have years of disability claim experience. We have obtained significant settlements and favorable verdicts for clients on a multitude of disability cases. Our goal is to offer exceptional legal assistance to individuals who may be facing financial crises due to disability. If you have been suffering from a POTS disability that has lasted, or is expected to last, for more than twelve months, there is some important information that you should know.
The typical symptoms of POTS
It is important to understand the kinds of symptoms that are associated with POTS so that you can identify them and be treated early on. Symptoms might vary from individual to individual, but the following are some of the more common things to watch out for:
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Syncope or fainting
- Sluggish thinking, difficulty concentrating, or forgetfulness
- Cardio palpitations or heart racing
- Sweating, shaking, nervousness, or jittery
- Exhaustion, fatigue and weakness
- Insomnia or irregular sleep patterns (frequent waking)
- Headaches and blurred vision
- Diarrhea or constipation
Doctors will look for a cluster of symptoms to help narrow down other possibilities to a diagnosis of POTS. If you experience several of these symptoms, it is best to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Causes of POTS include:
- Alcohol and metal poisoning
- Underlying health conditions like amyloidosis, diabetes, sarcoidosis or lupus, etc.
Can you get disability for POTS?
Dysautonomia is a group of neurological disorders in which the autonomic nervous system is unable to regulate normal functionality. POTS is among those disorders. If you are suffering from a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, or dysautonomia, you may be be able to file a claim for disability for POTS.
Some of the most prominent symptoms of POTS are lightheadedness, fainting and an uncomfortable, rapid increase in heartbeat. As a result, people with POTS may experience an inferior quality of life and difficulty maintaining employment.
This can happen regardless of age if the disease has progressed and symptoms are severe. A person is considered disabled when they are unable to engage in substantially gainful activity. If POTS renders someone unable to work or participate in normal daily activities, they may have a disability entitling them to benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not explicitly include POTS Syndrome and Disability in its Listing of Impairments, commonly referred to as the SSA “Bluebook;” The Bluebook, however, does categorize impairments under the various body systems, such as cardiovascular and neurological.
The underlying body systems that are affected by POTS symptoms may entitle someone to disability benefits. A claim for disability due to POTS should focus on the severity of symptoms and their impact on underlying body systems.
Because POTS can cause several symptoms, as mentioned above, your medical records are likely to include several test results. The Tilt Table Test, lab tests (bloodwork), digestive system testing, and x-rays are common examples of evidence that are considered by the SSA.
The impact of the disease depends upon several factors, including the general health of the patient. Some symptoms can improve with medication, but others could be or become unresponsive to medication. The inability to manage POTS symptoms could lead to disability or death.
You might qualify for disability benefits if you are experiencing severe symptoms and receive a poor prognosis from a medical professional. The Bluebook sets the specific criteria that must be met for POTS to qualify for disability benefits.
The SSA will also review your medical records and supporting documents to determine whether a Compassionate Allowance for POTS is appropriate. Compassionate Allowance is a process that allows the SSA to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that clearly meet their definition of disability. The process can take from one to three months, but will depend on the circumstances of a particular case.
Get in touch with experienced disability lawyers for attaining SSI or SSDI Benefits
If you have been planning on filing a claim for your disability, you should consider the Berke Law Firm, P.A. as a trusted partner in the legal process. We have a robust legal network and years of experience with handling complex disability claims that have been delayed or even rejected. Our professionals will help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.
An experienced disability attorney will help to provide you with the maximum compensation available. They know the process and will check your application to ensure that all relevant medical evidence, documentation, and other information is provided.
Frequently asked questions about POTS related disability claims
People applying for disability benefits due to POTS ask several common questions. We recommend consulting a physician for any medically related questions.
- Can POTS create cardiovascular problems?
Although POTS rarely impacts heart health directly, the disease can impact the heart rate and rhythm. This is because signals to the brain that coordinate the release of hormones that regulate heart rate are interrupted. Though the increased heart rate may be unpleasant, in most people with POTS, the cardiovascular system is otherwise healthy.
- Is it possible to work with POTS syndromes?
The ability to perform work over a sustained period of time can be adversely affected. Symptoms caused by POTS include lack of focus, exhaustion, and headaches. While some people diagnosed with POTS manage to work, others experience symptoms that are too intolerable to maintain gainful employment.
- How long does it take for POTS disability claim approved?
The SSA disability claims process can be lengthy. This may, in part, be to ensure that applicants receive a proper evaluation. It may also be due to bureaucratic red tape, error, and obfuscation. With proper legal assistance, you could receive a decision from SSA in as little as 30-90 days, but every case is different.